I know I’m late as all hell to the TV Tropes party. For others who are even later than me, let me expound… TV Tropes is a website that talks about tropes, idioms, and cliches in various forms of media. Whether it’s television, movies, or even video games, the website does an incredible job of educating would-be writers as to what pitfalls to avoid or what “crazy plot twists” have been done to beyond death. It makes one wonder if there’s such a thing for black metal and its various offshoots. I ask this because Spain’s Ered seem to be tripping each and every blackened landmine with their newest, Night of Eternal Doom.
Before we continue though, who’s your favorite black metal band? Satyricon? Marduk? Dissection? No matter what your answer will be, I will respond with “Ered sounds a lot like them.” And that’s where the problem is. Opener “Ancient Abominations” kicks off sounding like modern-day Marduk with vocalist/bassist Abyssal sounding like Blake Judd (Nachtmystium) only with less-embarrassing lyrics. The riffs just carry on and on, the drums blast but don’t hold any attention whatsoever, and it just goes into a weird Nachtmystium/Satyricon black ‘n roll section that may go down live, but doesn’t quite intrigue on record. Then comes the creepy Dissection-lite part, before throwing out a decent melody about 4:37 in, but by then you are ready to just move on with your blackened, crusty life.
And I was having a severe case of tr00 kvlt deja-vu throughout the album’s 61-minute length. Recalling interesting parts (which aren’t many), differentiating between parts, and hell, just trying to keep my attention focused was next to impossible, and I spent an hour each night for nearly two weeks straight with Night of Eternal Doom. Every song has what I call “that Dissection part,” where there’s jangly, tremolo riff melodies, only not as well-crafted. “Nocturnal Revelations” slightly reminds of the beginning of “Where Dead Angels Lie,” before going for full on Satyr-worship. But of all the songs heard over and over, only “Black Temple Congregation” got my full attention for that cool little tremolo/bass part about 2:08 into the song. Yes, that one part, of all the 61 minutes I’ve endured, was the only part that I thought, “Wow… that’s… different and cool.” And they’re not bad musicians. Guitarists S.B.E. (what’s with initials in black metal, guys?!) and Shogoth do tremolo very well. Jordi Farré is a decent, if unspectacular, drummer. There are just no interesting songs here, and songs are what separate the lesser demons from the greats.
The production, although loud and compressed as all get-out, actually doesn’t sound half-bad. The cymbals hurt, yes, but the rest of the sounds are adequate. Hell, even Abyssal’s bass makes appearances here and there (like the aforementioned “Black Temple Congregation”). But there have to be songs. Interesting songs that don’t drag on endlessly or make the album feel like the blackened aural equivalent of Eyes Wide Shut. They’re more than capable of doing so.
So the lesson of the day here, folks, is to find a sound that’s you and not 15 other bands all smooshed together. Night of Eternal Doom, while not bad, isn’t what I would call “captivating” or “original.” I miss Dissection and good Satyricon like the next guy, but if we wanted a rehash, why not just check out the originals?